The best salespeople don’t just build relationships with customers. They challenge them.
Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, we learned that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. We found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.
Instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products, Challengers approach customers with unique insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their sales message to the customer’s specific needs and objectives. Rather than acquiescing to the customer’s every demand or objection, they are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.
The things that make Challengers unique are replicable and teachable to the average sales rep. Once you understand how to identify the Challengers in your organization, you can model their approach and embed it throughout your sales force. The authors explain how almost any average-performing rep, once equipped with the right tools, can successfully reframe customers’ expectations and deliver a distinctive purchase experience that drives higher levels of customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater growth.
The Challenger Sale: 2011
The Challenger Sale hits the shelves and offers sales leaders a new playbook for delivering distinctive purchase experiences that drive higher levels of customer loyalty and greater growth.
The Effortless Experience: 2013
We take our search for truth to the world of customer service and turn conventional wisdom on its head with The Effortless Experience, a fascinating journey on what really makes customers loyal – and disloyal.
The Challenger Customer: 2015
The Challenger Customer delivers a reality check: simply being a Challenger seller isn’t enough; your success or failure also depends on who you challenge. The book introduces insights on identifying and engaging customer stakeholders.
Accolades and Recognition
The Challenger books are globally recognized for their significant contribution to the world of sales, marketing, and customer service leadership thinking, and continue to receive high praise and accolades.
- 2021 – Amazon lists The Challenger Sale as #6 in their Best Sellers in Sales & Selling
- 2020 – Book Authority lists The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer on their 100 Best Sales Books of All Time
- 2020 – Rajat Chawla (Top #16 Global CX Influencer) features The Effortless Experience in his list of 30 Best Customer Experience Books You Must Read
- 2020 – Ring DNA lists The Challenger Sale as #7 on their list of The Best Sales Books of All Time
- 2020 – Sales Hacker lists The Challenger Sale (#2) and The Challenger Customer on their list of The 104 Best Sales Books in 2020
- 2019 – LiveHelpNow features The Effortless Experience in their list of 12 Books That Will Turn You Into A Customer Experience Superstar
- 2019 – HubSpot features The Challenger Sale in their list of 17 Must-Read Sales Books for Beginners
- 2019 – Forbe’s features Challenger in “Three Selling Strategies to Empower Your Salespeople”
- 2019 – Smartbug Features Challenger in “7 Sales Enablement Blogs You Should Follow Now”
- 2018 – HubSpot does a standalone piece on The Challenger Sale – A 5-Minute Summary Of “The Challenger Sale” Book Your Boss Told You To Read
- 2018 – Gong.io features The Challenger Sale as #1 and The Challenger Customer as #2 on their list of The 58 Best Sales Books Of All Time (The Ultimate Master List)
Praise for The Challenger Sale
“The Challenger Sale shows you how to maintain control of the complex sale. The output of this superbly researched body of work is that you will know how to better differentiate your organization, your offering, and yourself in the mind of the customer.”
Adrian Norton, vice president, sales, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals
“The amazing thing is that the Challenger sales rep has been hiding in plain sight all these years. The Challenger Sale breaks the winning elements of this powerful approach into a set of teachable skills that can take even a top sales team to a new level of results delivery.”
Dan James, former chief sales officer, DuPont
“This is a must-read book for every sales professional. The authors’ groundbreaking research explains how the rules for selling have changed—and what to do about it. If you don’t want to be left behind, don’t miss this innovative book that provides the new formula for selling success.”
Ken Revenaugh, vice president, sales operations, Oakwood Temporary Housing
“The history of sales has been one of steady progress interrupted by a few real breakthroughs that have changed the whole direction of the profession. These breakthroughs, marked by radical new thinking and dramatic improvements in sales results, have been rare. . . . Which brings me to The Challenger Sale and the work of the Sales Executive Council. . . . On the face of it, their research has all the initial signs that it may be game-changing. . . . My advice is this: Read it, think about it, implement it. You, and your organization, will be glad you did.”
Professor Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling
“There is a healthy dose of constructive tension throughout this brilliant book. Tension that will bring insight and clarity into how customers buy today and how your sales team must sell. If you are seeking to raise the bar in your sales organization, The Challenger Sale is a must-read.”